Let me start by saying, I'm gonna be writing about a horrible experience I had during my visit at Tatoy's Manokan. I know a lot of people are raving about their native chicken but I'm gonna rant about it now. It has almost been a month since this happened but I can still feel pissed whenever I will try to recall it. I don't even want to write about this but somehow, maybe this would help improve their service.
My companion and I were expecting to have a hearty and delicious lunch at Tatoy's. This place have built quite a reputation in the media saying that this is the best restaurant to visit in Iloilo. The place boasts of their native chicken (ayan, naasar na naman ako upon stating that) which is also their best seller.
It's almost lunch time when we arrived and the place is packed! I was quite expecting that since it was a Sunday when we visited, so a lot of people are dining out.
We started out by ordering from what I can call a "live menu". Cooked dishes in serving portions were displayed at the counters near the entrance. One can select from their fresh sea foods and have it cooked any way you want. Of course we know what to order so we immediately told the wait staff. We ordered Baked Oysters, Chopsuey, their famous Native Chicken. rice, and Buco Shake. He then assisted us towards a vacant table and asked us to wait. Well, when he asked us to wait, he never really told us to wait for AN HOUR. Yes! We waited for an hour for the first dish to be served. Not the entire order, but the first dish! Unbelievable! And that was just the start of it.
(Now, I will be posting food photos according to the sequence of arrival on our table.)
It was humid that day and being hungover from last night's partying, I was parched. I politely pointed out to the waiter to have the drinks served first while we wait for the food to arrive. We waited patiently but it took them almost an hour to serve our drinks.
The Buco Shake was refreshing and really really good, or maybe I was just really thirsty that time. Anyway, we were expecting the orders would come since one of our orders are already on our table. To our dismay, the next one came in after 15 minutes, so far we have been waiting for almost an hour and a half only to be served one dish that wasn't even the appetizer!
We were expecting they would serve us the Baked Oysters since it was supposedly the appetizer of our meal. We were surprised to see the Chopsuey on our table but gladly just took it since we were starving like mad. My companion and I were both pissed at that moment but I said, we should remain calm since I heard that everything they serve is good, and hey, it was good news, right? Optimistically, I said that all our orders will arrive in no time.
We were trying to enjoy the Chopsuey, which by the way tastes forgettable when the server approached our table and brought us... BAD NEWS.
"Mam, naubusan kame ng manok. Kung gusto nyo, maghintay kayo ng isa pang oras kasi niluluto pa lang yung mga bagong dating. Baka gusto nyo na lang mag order ng iba kapalit nung manok, kung di kayo makakapag hintay" (Mam, we ran out of chicken. If you want, you can wait for an hour more since we are still cooking up this new batch, or you might just want to order something else if you can't wait.)
SERIOUSLY? After waiting for more than an hour, you are going to tell us that you fooking ran out of chicken, furthermore, wait another hour for that friggin chicken? Really?! REALLY?!!!
Well, we just opted to order the next best thing in their menu which is the Lechon. I was sure that time that the Lechon won't really impress me since I strongly think that Borongan Lechon is the best Lechon for me.
At that point, when everything for me tasted bland because bouts of disappointments came flooding in, the Baked Oysters still haven't made it to our table. And when it did...
I feel bad for the oysters. I think they got robbed of their natural flavors by cooking it the wrong way. There was nothing extraordinary about the dish. Oh wait, there is something exceptional about it, the way it tasted like a chowder. A chowder because it does swim in evaporated milk. The most horrible Baked Oyster I've ever had in my life.
By the end of our meal, the chicken that was ordered by a family sitting next to us finally came. That is after they have finished their meal. I'm guessing they've been waiting for the chicken for more than an hour since I have noticed that they have been eating ahead of us before we even sat down. I'm assuming they're regulars since they were able to accept the inefficient service.
The visit left a bad taste in my mouth. I would want to go back again just to taste the chicken that they are famous for, hoping that it'll be their saving grace for me. If the chicken is nothing out of the ordinary, then Tatoy's really suck. Service is awful and food is mediocre.
Tatoy's ManokanBaluarte-Calumpang-Villa-Oton Boulevard,
Villa Arevalo District,
Iloilo City, Iloilo
Contact Number: (033) 337 1360
Also read my other blog posts about my Incredible Iloilo visit:
Punot Flavors of Iloilo
Netong's Original Special La Paz Batchoy
Circle Inn Iloilo